Paul Tuthill

Pioneer Valley Bureau Chief

Paul Tuthill is WAMC’s Pioneer Valley Bureau Chief. He’s been covering news, everything from politics and government corruption to natural disasters and the arts, in western Massachusetts since 2007. Before joining WAMC, Paul was a reporter and anchor at WRKO in Boston.  He was news director for more than a decade at WTAG in Worcester.  Paul has won more than two dozen Associated Press Broadcast Awards. He won an Edward R. Murrow award for reporting on veterans’ healthcare for WAMC in 2011.  Born and raised in western New York, Paul did his first radio reporting while he was a student at the University of Rochester.

Ways To Connect

WAMC

An innovative health sciences charter school in Springfield, Massachusetts will welcome its first high school freshman class at the end of August.

The Baystate Academy Charter School, which had students in grades 6 through 8 during its first two years in operation held a lottery to fill out its 9th grade class of just over 100 students. 

Executive Director Tim Sneed said the academy is a rigorous college-prep school that uses a project-based, hands-on approach known as Expeditionary Learning.

NECN

Massachusetts Lottery officials say they are prepared for the new competition from the casino industry.

State lottery officials say they are using zip code analysis to detect any shift in sales patterns in the convenience stores, gas stations, and bars located near Plainridge Park, the state’s first casino that opened to capacity crowds on June 24. 

State Treasurer Deborah Goldberg, who oversees the lottery, vows the agency will compete with the casinos.

WAMC

Emergency repair work has been taking place this week on the elevated portion of Interstate 91 through downtown Springfield.

The emergency work is a prelude to a three-year $175 million dollar reconstruction of the 2.5 mile long elevated highway that carries 75,000 vehicles a day. 

MassDOT said preliminary work is scheduled to begin July 12th.  Major construction will start in the fall. 

Kevin Kennedy, Springfield’s chief development officer said keeping the public informed about ramp closings and detours is key to avoiding major disruptions.

wikipedia.org

The new fiscal year has arrived in Massachusetts with no deal in sight on a state budget.

Talks have gone into overtime on Beacon Hill where the legislature failed to deliver a budget to Governor Charlie Baker before July 1st.  A conference committee is attempting to reconcile differences between the separate budgets passed months ago by the House and Senate.

              Senator Eric Lesser said a month-long interim budget is in place to keep state government functioning.

WAMC

For the second time in as many days there has been a promotion from within to fill a key public safety job in a western Massachusetts city.

Northampton Mayor David Narkewicz Wednesday appointed Duane Nichols the new Chief of the Northampton Fire Rescue Department. Nichols is a 28-year veteran of the department. He worked his way up the ranks to become assistant chief – the number two position in the department -- in 2007.

"  We have an excellent organization, with a good group of ( firefighers) and equipment and we can build on that," said Nichols.

WAMC

Martin Meehan began his tenure as president of the University of Massachusetts Wednesday by a holding a roundtable discussion with students at UMass Boston.

Meehan said he intends to build UMass into “the best public university system in the nation.”  During an interview in May he talked about ways to elevate the university’s stature.

"It is looking at how to improve, achieve more excellence. You can always increase your research and continue to improve," he said.

Massachusetts has launched a new voter registration system.  People can now go online to sign up to vote, change their address for voting purposes, and switch party affiliation.

Massachusetts is the 21st state to offer online voter registration, a system Secretary of State William Galvin, the state’s top election official, said will remove one more administrative impediment to registering to vote.

WAMC

A new police chief should be on the job in Northampton, Massachusetts by July 1st.

The Northampton City Council has scheduled a special meeting for Monday night to vote on the appointment of Jody Kasper to be the city’s next police chief.

         Kasper, a 19-year veteran of the force and currently Captain of Operations, would be the city’s first female chief of police.

City Council President Bill Dwight said a simple majority vote by the nine-member council is required to confirm the appointment.

WAMC

Massachusetts is spending tens of millions of dollars to develop small urban parks.

Officials in Springfield secured two grants totaling $850,000 to transform a weed-infested school yard into a 6.5 acre park. A spray pad opened for children in time for this summer.Construction will begin later on a playground, ball fields and tennis courts. 

Gloria DeFillipo of the Pine Point Neighborhood Council said until now the closest park was more than 2 miles away. 

WGBH

In Massachusetts, where same-sex marriage has been legal for more than a decade, officials said today’s Supreme Court ruling validates beliefs long-held by gay rights activists that are now part of mainstream opinion. 

Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey, who is the nation’s first openly gay attorney general, said it was a “moving moment” Friday morning when she got word of the Supreme Court decision during a staff meeting.

Pages